So long life isn’t linked to eating tiger bones then….?

My earlier post today highlighted how endangered tigers are still being killed illegally for their bones, which are supposed to have miraculous healing powers and are said to ensure long life.

Well, the latest news is that researchers have found a little village on a tropical island off China, that boasts an incredible 200 citizens out of a total of 560 000, who are over the age of 100 years old, three of whom are over 110.

The residents live in almost primitive conditions, there is no pumped water and has to be fetched from nearby wells, housing is in homes made of simple concrete, with sparse furniture…but they do have electricity at least.

Work has always been the only exercise the residents get, but it is hard work, all agricultural, planting and harvesting crops, and their diets have always been based on mainly vegetarian plant-based foods.

Aside of simple foods, they do not eat anything else that is extraordinary…no tiger bones, no bear bile extracts, no elephant tusk, no rhino tusk….no snake bile…

One thing, say the researchers is certain though….of all the long-lived populations in the world, none are in wealthy areas.

As my grand-pappy always said…”living in the woods is good for ya..”!

😉

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Talking about journals….

Some readers may recall I recently wrote about my trip to India and that little remote village where they were trying to eke out a living by making hand made leather journals?

Well, I’m really happy to tell you that those guys in that village will be sleeping a little bit more peacefully than of late, all thanks due to WordPress bloggers around the world who read my article and responded by buying those journals!  I have had so many orders for the journals, that I actually had to take time off work to process them….and I was happy to do that, knowing that it was all for a very good cause indeed.

As I mentioned, I was taken aback by the poverty in which those people live, even in this day and age, when India is said to be second only to China and possibly the USA in terms of economic might.

Children regularly die of silly, preventable problems like malnutrition, malaria, etc. Water has always been a rarity there, until recently when the villagers pooled their incomes from those journals and had an electric water pump fitted.

Ok, their work is quite slow and laborious compared to western eyes, but at least it brings in much-needed cash which can be ploughed straight back into the community and allow them to afford things like medicines etc which they could only dream of before.

If you would like to help them out, read about the journals here.

 

Always buy the best equipment you can afford….

I was just watching that film about the guy who fell down and trapped his arm in a rock fissure in Colorado whilst walking alone in the desert…guy called Aron Ralston.

If you look past the gory bits and the movie scenes, you can learn an awful lot from that film I think.

Like always letting everyone know where you’re going, when you’ll be back etc. That guy, in his self-assured manner, failed this first essential of going out walking, hiking or climbing in remote areas. So when he fell into trouble, nobody knew what had happened to him ro where.

The second very important point is to try and have a partner with you if at all possible. I’m afraid I must put up my hands here on this one, as I rarely have anyone with me; my reason, silly as it may seem to you, is that having someone with me somehow robs me of the solitude, the silence I am constantly seeking. The funny thing is, it is that silence and solitude that could, if things went wrong, work against me one day. having a partner can be of enormous help if you get into difficulties.

Thirdly, Aron didn’t have a cellphone with him. Much as I hate the relentless march of technology and how it continues to intrude into our daily lives, a cellphone is a virtual necessity these days, and if you are injured or stuck in dire circumstances during a hike or climbing session, a phone call can mean the difference between life and death. So always, always, always try and carry at least one working, fully charged cellphone. I know of friends who carry 2 cellphones with them, in case one fails.

Finally, regarding what happened with Aron in that rocky fissure. Because he was unlucky enough to get his arm trapped between a falling rock etc, he had no choice but to actually hack his own arm off….yes, you read right…he made the agonizing decision to cut his arm off, or face certain death within days.

And when it came to carrying out the grisly task, he used the only thing available, the knife in his multi-tool. that unfortunately proved to be of inferior quality and he had a lot of trouble cutting through his flesh, as he joked about his in a recording he made with his camcorder, “..always make sure the multi tool you buy is not Made in China!

The moral there of course is to buy equipment that has proven reliability and is durable. Again, talking about Aron….if his tool had broken up in use, and he had failed to sever his arm, he would not be alive today.

 

 

For your next trip to India, try these guys…

 

Planning any trip can be daunting. Planning a trip to the East, doubly so!

Even though english is widely spoken and understood, there are certain nuances and subtle ways of communicating that we in the west are not familiar with. So by all means, if you want the headache of arranging everything yourself, or prefer it that way, it can be done.

Myself, during all the trips I have made to India and the Far East, I have used only one firm, which I’m going to tell you about now.

Not only can they offer ready-made treks and trips, but if you want a specifically tailored one, they are more than happy to do that for you. I normally prefer to have a package set up, but with the option of walking away on my own and getting back to the organizers for the flight back home.

The company is Royal Rajasthan Tours, and despite the name, they cover more than just Rajasthan. I have asked them to arrange tours for myself and my hiking party in Ladakh, Nepal, Tibet and also as far as China and Japan.

Apart from me recommending them they must be doing something right, as www.traveladvisor.com have also recommended them.

Theirs is the only company I know where the Director sometimes travels with a tour! Apart from the rather novel idea, having the Director travelling with you instills a certain amount of peace of mind, showing customers that if the owner is also travelling with them, then he must be confident of their ability to deliver.

I’ve used them so many times, and recommended countless friends and colleagues of mine, that I know both the Directors by name. My initial contact has always been Jag Suman…he takes care of tours for customers from the USA/Canada and Europe, whilst Bhupendar Singh has the responsibility of running the tours themselves. Both guys are very friendly and can speak a number of languages aside of english.

If money is no problem, you can opt for the 5 star tours, which include a personal pick up from Delhi International airport by their very own classically dressed drivers and chaperones, by limousine, direct to your chosen 5 star hotel!

If you’re on a budget like me, that’s no problem either. They arrange everything.

Next time, give them a try.